We often hear from social media experts on how to do “more social media” but very rarely on how to take an effective social media break. And I’m not talking about the 3-month digital hiatus kind of break – which frankly requires a whole other level of business communications discussion – but the kind of break where you are off for a week or two, like the festive season!
Why do I need a break?
As the social media and digital marketing landscape expands and evolves, taking a break becomes more and more important – not only for your audience, but for you as the business owner or marketing manager running those channels.
I totally made up that word, but if you think about what “fatigue” means and take a look at how you are feeling right now I bet you are super tired of planning, thinking, creating, replying and “engaging” on social media on a daily basis. Not to mention selling and “communicating” because it’s Christmas and we have a whole bunch of Christmas-elements to think about at this time of year.
Ditto on your audience. Your audience are people just like you and every time any one of us opens a social media app at the moment, we are sold to – a product, a service, a last minute special, a bar or restaurant opening time … all useful and relevant but all a lot to be hit with continuously.
*there is a whole load I could say on this subject, that is deserving of a blog or video series to be honest, but I like my content and education pieces to be a “one thing at a time” approach so we’ll park it for the new year – after our social media break *smiley winky face*
Taking time off of social media over the holidays.
There’s a few things I need you to know before we get into the planning of your social media holiday. Firstly, please understand that taking a holiday from your social media will not kill your business. Social media should be one aspect of your marketing mix, not your entire business model! And secondly, you can take time off social media and not schedule any content to go out during that time. Risque I know, but doable.
The scheduling-whilst-away idea can absolutely play a role in strategy, but if community building and engagement is one of your key social media goals then scheduling content to go out when you don’t plan to be around to chat to your audience via comments or DMs is totally counter-productive.
In saying that, “time off social media” can look different for every business and sometimes that may just mean time off the grid, but still present in direct messages or comments. For the sake of this blog – we’re talking about taking time off off of our social media channels.
Produce based vs service based business.
Standard marketing jargon here – but one size doesn’t fit all – what you have to think about for each type of business is different. Still possible to take a break from either though.
How to take a social media holiday.
The best thing you can do is to plan for your break and communicate to your audience. Tell them you are taking time off from this date to this date and how they can contact you (IF you are contactable) or share how they can get answers to their questions via another medium (website, pinned post on Facebook/LinkedIn/Twitter or FAQ highlights on Instagram).
Product-based businesses – the planning process is your time to think about your returns policy and some FAQs that may pop up after Christmas. Again – plan for it – use your website or update your etsy page, use Instagram highlights, pinned posts on other social media channels or email marketing.
It’s mostly the lack of knowing that causes unrest in a potential buyer or your audience – like any mega successful relationship, communication is key.
Here’s a few things and questions to think about when planning your social media break:
- What dates am I on holiday?
- Can I be contacted?
- If yes, then how or where?
- If no, where can my audience find information or answers to FAQs?
- Do I have an idea of my content plan for when I am back online?
- Do I need to update my website, profiles or bio?
As always, I recommend starting with a blank piece of paper and writing some of these answers down! One thought always leads to another.
Plan your pre-holiday campaign.
Cool, so we’re taking a social media break. And we did the planning piece to make that happen for our work schedule, but we still need to communicate that piece to our audience …
- Try a post 7-10 days before taking time off telling your audience what’s coming up.
- Next up, think about another post 3-5 days before your holiday telling your audience what to expect whilst you are off.
- Countdown! 1 day to go and get the excitement mounting – this one serves as a last chance saloon for your audience to get in touch too.
When you come back from your social media break, make sure you have a strong content plan in place – try a hello post or a how was your holiday this is what I did Reel – start the conversation and plan your day and time to be around for the conversation. Be consistent and active when you are back – stories, posts and conversations via comments and DMs. Also know that the algorithm and your audience may take a few posts to warm up again so do.not.panic and keep at it.
Think of it like that first day back to your desk after a holiday – it’s a little crazy and chaotic and takes a few days to settle in again. Same thing with your social media.
P.S we’re talking specifically about Christmas holidays and taking time off over the festive season in this blog, but the concept of planning to take time off and taking a social media holiday is relevant for any time of the year and any holiday you want to take!
What happens next?
You basically work your little socks off and get that time off and holiday planning sorted and actioned so you can fully immerse yourself in Quality Streets and the festive season – sans phone or social media for business!
[TLDR] In summary – you can take a social media break and not kill your business and the best way to do that is to plan for a break and communicate that to your audience.